The best advice I’ve given myself in ages.

Is to be a tourist in my own city.

And better still – in my own life.


I was walking home one night last week along Newcastle Quayside.

It was about 7.30pm so it was just dark.

Lights on bridges, buildings and landmarks glowed twice.

The second time in the mirror of the River Tyne.

As I walked, I dodged quite a few smiling and laughing people taking pictures of each other.

They really did wonder at the architecture and the bridges.

But also in the street furniture, the neon signs, the laughing hoards and the cobbles.

These are the big things, and the little things, that make up my home.

I forget that where I live, and where we all live to varying degrees, is really great.

We’re lucky.

So I continued to imagine my hometown as a tourist would, just for a moment.

And smiled.


And when I arrived home 20 minutes later I once again arrived a place that could be bigger and could be better.

We could own a boat for example, sat bobbing up and down on the marina over which our house looks.

But we don’t.

Yet we could also own a house that didn’t overlook a marina.


I suppose it’s all about perspective.

There are many things I want.

But there are many things I have, too.

Some I don’t even notice.

They’re too familiar.

Unless I think like a tourist of course.

And just then, as Izobel runs over to me and my own front door closed behind me.

I imagined I was watching Izobel and I cuddling, as a tourist in my own life.

And I am reminded how lucky I am.

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